In an interview with Associated Press, Pope Francis confirmed that if he resigned, he would like to be called bishop emeritus of Rome. He also said that if and when the time comes he would like to live in the diocese's residence for elderly priests as any other retired priest would do.
The Pope said that for him it is important to emphasize that the pope is a bishop in communion with all other bishops rather than a 'power player.'
At the same time, Pope Francis explained that he is not thinking of resigning in the near future. He says he is in good health, even though his intestinal problems that forced him to have surgery in 2021 have returned.
The Pope also revealed that he had fallen and suffered a bone fracture. But he did not need surgery as he had laser and magnet therapy.
This fracture may be the cause of his limp.
With his usual sense of humor, the Pope pointed out that 'he could die tomorrow,' since he is 86 years old. But he said that at the moment, everything is 'under control.'
Pope Francis also spoke of the criticisms he's recently faced from cardinals and Curia members. He said it's unpleasant, but at least it is a sign that there is freedom of speech.
One of the criticisms came from Pope emeritus Benedict XVI's former secretary, who spread the Pope emeritus' negative reactions to some of Pope Francis' decisions. The fact that Pope Benedict never made these feelings public could lead some groups in the Church to criticize Pope Francis.
Something else that has had an impact on the Vatican in recent weeks was the revelation that Cardinal George Pell was the author of a document that is highly critical Pope Francis' pontificate. The document had been published under a pseudonym some time ago. It listed a series of problems that the next Pope would have to solve.
In the text, Pope Francis' pontificate was described as a 'disaster' and a 'catastrophe.' But, there is no way to verify who wrote the document. Even so, Pope Francis insisted on praising the Australian cardinal for his work with the Vatican finances.